Friday, February 16, 2018

Binge Watching Takes Over the World

There's a million series out there, on cable channels or streaming services, and I can't keep up.  Since many of them are oriented to younger generations, I don't feel bad missing them.  And I'm just not into the most popular fare, such as Game of Thrones.

But the ones I seek out and get the most pleasure from seem to be foreign, and you have to dig for them a little, and handle subtitles.  Such series seem deeper and more intense.  We can start with the four seasons of Braquo, probably the most intense cop show ever.  And you have to start from the very beginning of this French series.  I saw the first two series on DVDs from my local library.  The last two were found on Hulu.  Riveting...


Another French series that you'll binge all night long is The Bureau, a spy series involving the French secret services, the CIA, the KGB or whatever they are call these days, the Iranian secret service, the Iraqi secret service, ISIS, and several love affairs.  Lots of plot lines that intersect, often maddening to keep together, often puzzling, but ultimately resolving.  Amazon Prime Video if I remember correctly, four seasons so far...


Finally, a friend turned me on to a German series on Netflix, Babylon Berlin.  Two seasons of episodes rolled into one series depicting 1929 Berlin, a time of political intrigue and much naughtiness.  Trotskis vs Stalinists, Commies revolting in the streets, proto Nazi's plotting a takeover of the country.  Then there is the cabaret...  wild scenes, wild women, drunk men, sultry songs, jazzy music (the drummer is great!).  I've always been fascinated by this era between wars in what was a very bohemian culture in the city, amongst the poverty and unemployment.  The depiction of the city during this time is amazingly thorough.  Again, many subplots, and, unfortunately, very little is resolved at the end...  more Babylon Berlin!  An aside, some of the original music, at least lyrically, is by Brian Ferry, who also makes a stage appearance in Episode 10 (he also has a CD called The Jazz Age, his music reinterpreted in 20's and 30's style).   Well worth subtitle reading.



Well, those three should keep you up through the night.  Oh, and there's Serial, another French cop show which I haven't had time to get back to, but I love the main female character, so wonderful watching her choose her lovers...  

Now I need to catch my breath for a bit before plunging into another series.  





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